T-cell recognition of mycobacterial GroES peptides in Thai leprosy patients and contacts

Boosbun Chua-Intra, Somchai Peerapakorn, Nick Davey, Stipo Jurcevic, Marc Busson, H. Martin Vordermeier, Charoon Pirayavaraporn, Juraj Ivanyi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (SciVal)


We report here the mapping of T-cell-stimulatory determinants of the GroES 10-kDa heat shock protein homologues from Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which are known as major immunogens in mycobacterial infections. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from treated tuberculoid leprosy or lepromatous leprosy patients and from healthy household or hospital staff contacts of the patients were cultured with 20 16-mer peptides covering the entire sequences of both M. leprae and M. tuberculosis GroES. The total number of recognized peptides was found to be the largest in family contacts, while responder frequencies to the individual tested peptides varied (5 to 80%) with specificity between the patient and contact groups. Proliferative responses to some peptides showed positive or negative associations of low statistical significance with DR and DQ alleles, though responses to most GroES peptides were genetically permissive. Notably, the sequence of the 25-40 peptide of M. leprae, but not that of M. tuberculosis, was more frequently stimulatory in tuberculoid leprosy patients than in either group of sensitized healthy contacts. This peptide bound to a number of HLA-DR molecules, of which HLA-DRB5*0101 had the strongest affinity. The epitope core binding to this allele was localized to the 29-to-37 sequence, and its key residue was localized to the M. leprae-specific glutamic acid at position 32. This epitope may be of interest for the development of a blood test- or skin test-based diagnostic reagent for tuberculoid leprosy, subject to further clinical evaluation in untreated patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4903-4909
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
Early online date01 Oct 1998
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 1998


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chaperonin 10/immunology
  • Contact Tracing
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Genes, MHC Class II
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • HLA-DQ Antigens/genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens/genetics
  • Humans
  • Leprosy/genetics
  • Leprosy, Lepromatous/genetics
  • Leprosy, Tuberculoid/genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacterium/immunology
  • Mycobacterium leprae/immunology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis/immunology
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Peptide Fragments/immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes/immunology
  • Thailand


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